Scathe is a hectic FPS Boomer Shooter with Bullet Hell elements where you are sent to hell by the Divine Creator to put down his brother’s Sacrilegious ever growing ambition at being the one who rules them all and destroy him.
After being sent to hell to stop to quell any potential taking over of the Divine Creator’s kingdom, the path awaits you leading to the final goal is a maze-like labyrinth where you have to figure out and forge which path to take. Some paths will have a benefit to you in your journey, whereas others will only lead to hordes of demons that only seek your death.
Yours to Keep
To assist your journey and ensure the road is paved with the demon’s blood, you have an arsenal of weapons that don’t come readily available and require you to scour through levels to find it. Upon finding it, it will be available for you from then on.
Powerful and Costly
Mere weapons won’t be enough in your journey, seek out Rings/Relics of Dark Magic from Mages of the past in order to obtain its power. Those Relic’s powers include the ability to freeze, heal, eliminate enemies with a single clench of your fist, demon mode where you are invincible and will deal extra damage and have higher speed, all of which costs demon souls in order to be used.
Gameplay-wise it goes without saying that this is a boomer shooter with bullet hell thrown on top to it. Your movements are quick and are only hampered by how fast your reflexes are. The bullet-hell nature of the game is reminiscent of another old-school genre and favorite that pushes up the difficulty scale.
Graphically and aesthetically Scathe looks inspired by Doom, in this case it does it well. Everything looks as crisp and something you wouldn’t expect from a 3-man team to master. Being as shiny as it is, the slight downside it may be would be the “chunkiness” and weight of things in the game. For instance when shooting an enemy you expect some hefty meaty noises but it feels and sounds lighter than what you may expect.
Where Are You Going?
Another minor thing to note is in the earlier sections of the game, enemies seem more predictable and tend to behave in a weird way. They would use the same pathfinding as each other and walk down the same line, they would run past you as though they are closing down on someone invisible behind you. Weirdly enough the enemy pathfinding and AI seem to fix itself as the game progresses.
In Need of a GPS
Initial challenges one to expect is the lack of explanation to navigate to the next levels when looking at the map, it doesn’t tell much and took a while to figure out. The constant dying initially is amplified as one comes to terms to the labyrinth of each level.
Same but Different
The variety of demons you encounter though some feel repeated and in a different skin is still quite noteworthy (except those ball-like ones, nobody likes them) and unique. Levels are crafted in a way that makes it truly maze-like to a certain degree. With important pickups being hidden or placed in a way that is harder to reach.
For what it bills itself to be, Scathe does it bloody well. It’s intense, gory, challenging and satisfying when being cornered by endless demons and finding your way through them by running and gunning, while you’re using your dark magic until the last drop of blood lands on the floor and everyone’s in pieces as the music similar to Heilung draws to the last groans.
Hailing from a small Island. Huge football fan. Drinks too much tea.
Survival, Roguelikes, Turn-based or Indie games in general are my go to genres but I like to dabble in all kinds of genres. I tend to have a soft spot for Shmups and Hidden Object Games once in a while.